Monday, September 24, 2007

Four runs.

Well there are four of us from Team Asha - Vinod, Ganesh, Gaurav and me who are training for the 100 mile run this year. This being my last while in Austin, we wanted to make this memorable :) - So, we decided to mix the training with some interesting running projects!

We took on 3 more popular tough trail endeavors - The Big Horn 50 miler, Pikes Peak Double - (Ascent and marathon up 8000+ ft elevation), Grand Canyon ( A rim to rim to rim run through the depths of the canyon for 44 miles and gruelling elevation) and culminating in Cactus Rose - the no support, on your own 100 miler!

You can read all about the races in the side menu titled 'The four runs'. The travel and runs across different terrains has made the experience surreal. Ironically I get to see the heart of the country in its plains, mountains, creeks, valleys, flower beds ...just when I follow mine out of here.

My parents visiting me, makes the whole effort memorable as anything I have been through! Its going to take some good convincing on my part to make my parents understand that its ok for me to do this - especially the running through nights etc. :)

Well at least I have to only deal with a couple - The Grand Canyon Run and the 100 mile. The other two projects are done and you can read more about it in our team blog


The whole intent of this blog has been about running and how it can make a difference in terms of social issues and the empowerment of the underprivileged in India.

So, this year is no different from the previous years -

* I am fundraising for Asha and its going to be double the target from last year - $10,000
* I am going for a target race and its double what I did last year - a 100 miler.
* Its going to support a lot more efforts at Asha Austin - we have picked quite a few new projects - from supporting 3 projects three years ago, we have now grown to support 14 projects across India.

What does it mean to the underprivileged we strive for ?

To say that the marathon program or Asha's contribution made all the change would be an overstatement or just plain wrong. Organizations like Asha, AID etc. are nothing but tools. We are only a catalyst in the bigger picture. Having said that, the small efforts does open opportunities for the underprivileged we strive for - be it education for kids, employment for young adults, empowerement for the disabled or rights for the forcibly suppressed. The efforts of our project partners have been ably supported. This is evident in the success stories mentioned in our project pages over the years.

Every mile we add on, every dollar we raise, every individual we reach out to makes a difference.

What does it mean to me ?

Running is a passion and as I had mentioned in my earlier posts, without a soul for this passion it means nothing to me. I need your support to keep the flame in the soul going!

What did I do in the break ?

Right after my 50 miler as I had posted earlier I visited a lot of projects and was overawed at what the small efforts from our end at Austin could achieve. A detailed account of my site visits, updates from projects and the wonderful efforts our project partners undertake day in and day out is mentioned on our project pages. I have also blogged the experiences here.

I have video footage of my visits to some of the projects. Please feel free to contact me if you would like to know more.

What are the future plans ?

Yes, I do have some plans! I hope to spend a lot more time with all these grass roots efforts when I go back to India. I also hope to work with more such groups and learn from them. I wish to make myself more useful.

I am back and also going back!

Its been a long while. I am back from my self-imposed exile from blogging. The excuses are the usual, but none convincing -

1. Work
2. Life

Many major happenings in my life. I have decided to return home to India. Being with family and doing what I want to do better at home made more sense than being in the US. My stay here has been eventful and for the best part life changing. I met so many good souls and made great friends. The thoughts and interactions would guide me through life. This has been a home away from home.

I could go on and on about my experiences and life in the US. But, the point is nothing really changes! I am going to be in touch with the same friends, will be doing the same work for my team and will still be blogging the same things!

A few things I look forward to - the trails, creeks and just the oneness with nature in India, meeting people, family and friends and to follow my heart in doing things I want to do.

A few things I will miss - running the trails in america, the creeks, sunset and rise in greenbelt, those runs and moments with people who are family now!, the liberty of visiting and spending time with friends here...

Ya..I am not good with the 'sentimental' stuff. So, will stop here!